Friday, July 17, 2009

Doing Nothing, Well

It's been a little while since my last post -- I guess I've been "doing nothing well," as some of my fellow teachers used to say about kids who wouldn't behave. ;)

But seriously, I have been spending my days doing the following things, more or less in this order but with some variety:

  • Get a mediocre night's sleep; drive Derek to work or sometimes sleep in
  • Drink coffee and make fun of the Today show; eat something; talk to Mom
  • Run a short to medium distance, more often than not in heat and humidity
  • Kick self after forgetting to wear sunscreen and then vowing to do so next time*
  • Shower and put on something "normal" (i.e., NOT pajamas or running clothes)
  • Eat lunch while watching Netflix DVDs
  • Attempt to get some part of the apartment looking nicer, in spurts (e.g., putting up 2-3 framed pieces of artwork; obsessively scrubbing kitchen floor)
  • Take a walk/do something productive outside (like go to the West Side Market, walk around the neighborhood, or read on the balcony)
  • Change back into pajamas and take a nap
  • Pick Derek up from work/cook dinner

This has pretty much been satisfying for the most part, even though I am really doing not much of anything. I think it's the joy of summer vacation. A lot of people plan trips to new places, go to the beach, go explore the great things a city might have to offer during the summertime (damn you NYC and the High Line among so many other things I want to do and see!), but I worked myself so much into a stupor this past year that I am content to do pretty much nothing.

Don't get me wrong, I am very excited to go to Walloon Lake, Michigan at the end of this month (more to come on that) or for a VERY brief visit to New York for Heather's wedding at the end of August (wish I could stay longer!). But I pretty much don't feel like I need to make any other major plans right now. My life, for the last year or even two, has been filled with excitement, stress, change, etc. (moving twice AND getting married!) so I am fine right now. I would say I like being lazy, but marathon training and lazy don't really mix, so I will say I am being active physically and mellow mentally. Hmm, that doesn't sound great either. Oh well. But I am happy.

Training schedule for this past week has been as follows:

Monday - Off
Tuesday - 3 miles (I ran this one easy on the Ohio Erie Towpath, and then had a rather invigorating pilates session at Studio 11 in the evening)
Wednesday - 5 miles, with 2-4 x a mile @ 5k - 10k pace. This was a GREAT workout, and I enjoyed it far more than I expected. (I usually dread speedwork.) Ran a mile slowly to warm up until I got to the Steelyard path, then did my first fast mile @ 9:08, which was TOO FAST for my 5k pace, but it was mostly downhill (plus I saw some sketchy dudes on bikes so I thought I would pick up the pace...just kidding Mom). Then cooled down for a mile, and did the second fast mile @10:40, a little slower than 10k pace, BUT I noticed on my Garmin that I spent a good portion of this mile at just around 9:53 pace, which is great for 5k. What killed me is that humongous hill--the same one that got me shooting down at first, really pulled the brakes on my speed at the end. Still, I am glad for that split because I usually struggle up that hill. :) Then cooled down for a mile on the way home.
Thursday - another easy 3 miles
Friday - Off!!!!
Saturday - 13 miles
Sunday - 3 miles.

I may switch Saturday and Sunday, and substitute the 3-miler for this "Skinny Bitch" class at the yoga studio Saturday. I don't usually like changing the schedule around, but this class is awesome and I haven't gone to it in a few weeks. I've heard it's often good to change around your workout; once you reach a weight-loss "plateau" it's good to vary the exercises you do and stuff. Plus I need upper-body and core work and this class takes care of that for sure! Speaking of which, I am annoyed that since marathon training I have actually gained 2 pounds! Arggg! I am hoping it's just that I've built muscle tone...and not that I've been overeating as a result of overrunning...haha. I looked this up online and actually found an blog written by Christine Luff, one of my former TNT coaches! She is awesome so of course I had to read it.

Anyway, that's about it for now. Oh, one more thing -- Derek and I signed up to be members of Fresh Fork Market, a food co-op, in order to support local agriculture. We get our first package tomorrow! More on that later!

*Note: I did remember sunscreen on my Wednesday and Thursday runs!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How many Clevelanders does it take to put together an Ikea bookshelf?

Hey! It's been awhile since my last entry, partially because I've been going crazy trying to get this apartment looking "decent" for my mother's visit TOMORROW, and partially because I was away for the weekend. Derek and I went to Troy, Michigan, to visit his parents and sisters. We had a great time. I did my long run of 8 miles (at least part of it) on the beautiful and serene Clinton River Trail, and it felt great. I wish I could run all of my runs on trails and not on city streets.

Which brings me to today's run. It felt good for the most part, but it was a little bit hotter than last week. The breeze was nice, however, especially over the Lorain bridge (also known as route 10) that goes east into downtown Cleveland. Here's what it looked like: Tremont/Lorain Bridge

The map says it was 4.2 miles, but my Garmin Forerunner said 4 pretty much exactly (in fact, I had to circle the block once more to get to 4 miles). Oh well, no biggie, just as long as I'm logging around the right amount.

Mileage for this week is as follows (by the way, in case you're wondering, I'm following a 16-week training program outlined by Bob and Shelly Lynn Glover from their book The Competitive Runner's Handbook) :

Monday - Off
Tuesday - 4 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles (with 3-4 long-hill repeats)
Thursday - 4 miles
Friday - Off
Saturday - 10 miles
Sunday - 3 miles

Total Mileage: 25 miles.

I am also going to try my best to do some "core" work as well as strength training/flexibility (pilates, yoga, weights). I figure I have the summer free, why not make the most of the training? Plus I have a tendency to get (minor) injuries...I want to make sure that I protect my muscles and stretch often, and also build core strength so that I don't get any more back pain - what a nuisance.
In other news...Derek and I went to Ikea on the way back from Michigan! We got some stuff for the apartment but plan on ordering a few bigger bookcases online. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Training Time

I started training for my next marathon this week (New York City folks!!!!) and so far, so good, although it doesn't really start getting "weird" until the double-digit long runs start taking over the weekends. That's when I resign myself to finishing my 15-miler or whatever, taking a shower, getting a burrito bol from Chipotle (which Oh My God, HAS SO MANY CALORIES!!!!), and watching America's Next Top Model reruns all day.

But that's not happening yet. This week, I'm just doing/did the following:

Monday - Off
Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles (2 miles @ tempo)
Thursday - 4 miles
Friday - Off
Saturday - 8 miles
Sunday - 3 miles

Total Mileage: 22 miles.

I've been using google's gmap-pedometer to create routes around my new neighbhorhood, although to be honest, I really hate running on sidewalks. I've been able to get to a couple of paths here and there, but there just not as accessible as in Madison (where it seemed like everywhere you turn there's another continuation of another bike/running path) or in NY (hello, Central Park and Riverside Park!). I know about the Cleveland Metroparks, but they are not within walking/running distance so I'm going to have to take a couple trips in the car. But when our friends in the area took us to one in Rocky River, I was amazed at how beautiful it was, and how the paths stretched on for miles and miles. Those parks will be worth it for long runs, I'm sure.

Also, nearby (about 1 mile away) there's this development called Steelyard Commons, which was put there fairly recently and has a Target, Staples (yay teacher supplies), Best Buy, Old Navy, Home Depot, Wal-mart (my soul dies each time I set foot in there), Starbucks, and, as fate would have it, Chipotle! Anyway, all this stuff was constructed on the site of an actual steelyard, and there's a paved bicyle/running path that curves down along the side of it and then winds behind it. Apparently this turns into 30-something miles of bike path, called the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath. It's pretty cool. I've only ventured a couple of miles down it, but I'll try more on the longer runs. The added bonus for this route is that there is a huge hill that you have to run down to get down to the Steelyard area...and thus, will need to run back UP to finish. :) Do I see some long-hill repeats in my future? Yes, I do.

Also, our landlord just gave us this addendum to our lease granting us access to the fitness center in one of his other buildings downtown, which is great! This means that I don't have to suffer through the winter as much. Plus, I do like the treadmill for the sake of having headphones on without worry, and a water bottle you can just sit next to you, plus it's a little easier on my legs than pavement :)

In other news, Derek and I plan on visiting his family in Detroit for the long weekend (Derek gets tomorrow off!), so that'll be fun. It's always nice to be surrounded by family :) And my mom visits next Wednesday! Look out, Cleveland...